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The way we collect covid-19 data perpetuates racism in healthcare

Covid-19 is affecting ethnic minorities more severely, but we will never understand why if we don’t collect the right data, says Alisha Dua

Humans


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9 September 2020

THERE was the home health aide distraught at having potentially transmitted the coronavirus to her patients. The essential worker, just barely into his 40s, on a ventilator for six weeks. The beloved father’s family whose agony was revealed in every phone call recorded in his medical record.

These are the stories of some of the people with covid-19 whose medical records I reviewed as a research volunteer in New York City. Combined with thousands of other people’s anonymous data, such collections are critical for informing research, clinical care, government policies and funding allocations to tackle the pandemic. …